Developers reveal plan to build Brooklyn's largest office tower across from Barclays Center

The developers of Pacific Park, a sprawling collection of apartment buildings being built next to Barclays Center, are exploring a plan to build the largest office tower in Brooklyn.

Greenland Forest City, a partnership between the New York City development firm Forest City Ratner and Chinese real estate company Greenland Holdings, are considering efforts to secure the approvals necessary to transfer as much as 1.1 million square feet of development rights to a site at 590 Atlantic Ave. that it controls across the street from Barclays Center.

If successful, the pair could erect a roughly 1.5 million-square-foot office tower across from Brooklyn's largest transit hub at Atlantic Avenue, where nine subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road converge.

"Pacific Park was always meant to include modern office space," a spokeswoman for Greenland Forest City said in a statement. "We think the time is right for the borough to have an iconic office building for the new Brooklyn economy and the thousands of jobs it will bring to the doorstep of one of the city’s largest transit hubs."

The plan hinges on securing state approvals to transfer the development rights from the triangular plaza framed by Atlantic and Flatbush avenues in front of Barclays Center to a site across Flatbush Avenue that is controlled by the developers and is now occupied by Modell's Sporting Goods and PC Richards stores. Greenland Forest City currently has the right to build a smaller 440,000-square-foot office property on that site.

In order to transfer development rights and build a bigger tower there, the developers need to go through a state review process through the Empire State Development Corp., the state-controlled agency that has overseen the development of Pacific Park (the $5 billion project formerly known as Atlantic Yards). A spokesman for the agency did not return a request for comment.

Greenland Forest City has presented its plan to both neighborhood and state economic-development officials as a way to preserve the open plaza space in front of the Barclays Center. The office tower already has the support of Tucker Reed,president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, a major local business group.

"Our office vacancy rate in downtown Brooklyn has fallen to a historic low of 1.6%," Reed said in a statement. "We risk losing significant investment and further job growth in downtown Brooklyn if additional inventory does not come online in the immediate future."

Office tenants have increasingly streamed into Brooklyn. Real estate investors and developers have rushed to convert former warehouse buildings into commercial space and construct new office space to accommodate the demand.

Crain’s New York Business